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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

The Premiership

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Mayor approves Chelsea's 'blue jewel'

The Mayor of London has approved Chelsea's plans to buid a £500m stadium on the site of Stamford Bridge.  Sadiq Khan said that the planned 60,000 stadium would be 'the jewel in London's sporting crown'.  Capacity at the ground will be boosted by 18,500.

The club still needs permission from Chelsea Pitch Owners, a fan group that owns the freehold of the stadium's pitch and stands, to temporarily leave Stamford Bridge.

Sunderland's plight

It is difficult to see how Sunderland are going to escape relegation.   Even in the old days of Division 1 and Division 2, Sunderland were a yo-yo club, but the financial consequences these days are more serious, not least for the staff who face redundancy.

Big loss at Liverpool

Liverpool recorded a loss of £19.8m in the year to May 2016.  Investment in players was the main reason for the loss, along with the cost of compensating Brendan Rodgers and his staff.   Costs for the Main Stand extension also contributed to the loss.

The club's revenue increased by £3.9m to a record £301.8m.   Match day revenue was up £3.4m to £62m. Commercial revenue was down £700,000 to £115.7m.   This was partly because of a lack of non-matchday access to the Main Stand.

Shrewd Southampton

Given that their net spending is consistently in the Premier League bottom five at less than £8m per season, Southampton's record of three successive top eight finishes makes them the top flight's biggest over achievers since their promotion from the Championship five years ago.   In 2009 they were in League One and administration.

Profits up at Arsenal

Despite a record £110.5m spend on players, Arsenal reported profits of £12.6m in the six months to 30 November 2016 compared with a £6.2m loss in the corresponding period last year.  Once again Arsene Wenger shows that he is following a successful commercial formula.

Turnover was up substantially from £158m to £191.1m year on year.  45 per cent of revenue came from broadcasting, boosted by a bigger share of the Uefa pool.   This was even more valuable given the fall of the pound as it is paid in euros.

From hero to zero

Having won an unlikely Premiership title for Leicester City, Cladio Ranieri was peremptorily sacked as manager yesterday, a fortnight after winning the dreaded vote of confidence.

His dismissal reaffirmed two clichés of contemporary football.   First, it's a results business.  Leicester are in real danger of being relegated to the Championship.  

Spurs and Chelsea have different stadium naming strategies

Tottenham Hotspur are planning to drop the name White Hart Lane while Chelsea hope to retain the name Stamford Bridge in some form as the London rivals seek to secure naming rights for their new stadiums.

'A merchandising company that happens to play football'

As Manchester United report a good set of quarterly results, it is worth recalling the description of them in the Lex column of the Financial Times last month: 'a merchandising company that happens to play football.'

Is piracy problem hitting viewing figures?

The number of viewers watching Premier League matches on Sky during the first half of the season is 12 per cent down on the previous year.   Sky's latest six month results showed that profits had been affected by a £314m increase it had to pay to the Premier League in that period.

Big spending does not always guarantee success

Using a KMPG database, the Financial Times has analysed the accounts of 69 clubs over four seasons. The results reveal that big spending does not always guarantee success.